The first state-based auto-IRA account program is “off to a promising start,” according to the Center for Retirement Research (CRR) based at Boston College.
The center analyzed data from the OregonSaves program designed to provide retirement savings accounts for workers who are not offered a retirement plan at their workplace because it doesn’t exist or they’re ineligible or are self-employed without a retirement savings plan.
To date, about 1,800 employers have signed up for the program ahead of the mid-December deadline, but only about one-third (644) have begun to submit employee contributions to the program. Still, almost 22,000 employees of those 600-plus employers have saved more than $10 million in assets since the program began as a pilot launch in August 2017.
Slightly more than 62% of roughly 39,000 eligible employees are participating in the program, including those employees whose contributions haven’t been submitted yet. About one-third have chosen to opt out of the program, which is permitted within the first 30 days.
“So far we’re seeing good news although it is taking a while for some employers to submit contributions,” says Geoffrey Sanzenbacher, a co-author of the CRR report and associate director of research at the center.